Roskilde Festival:<br>Rocking the North Since 1971


Once a major event for hippies, now the biggest festival in all of Scandinavia. The stage of Roskilde has been sanctified by the feet of Sting, Nirvana, Iggy Pop, U2, Eric Clapton, Ray Charles, Prince and many other legends. Tuborg has been the main sponsor of Roskilde for years and we’re blessed to be a part of it.

Roskilde Festival is Northern Europe’s largest music festival, bringing together 130,000 people every summer to experience some of the world’s biggest names and most intriguing up-and-comers in all genres.

Even now, 46 years after its inception, the festival remains at the cutting edge and shaped by the average participant age of just 24 years. The event’s line-up is a veritable cornucopia of musical goodies in every genre imaginable: from mainstream pop, R&B, hip hop and rock, to heavy metal, electronic raves and world music from every corner of the globe. Another important element of Roskilde Festival’s line-up – in addition to reflecting today’s music culture of intertwining genres of all kinds – is the discovery of new talents, who are invited to play on the smaller stages to gain concert experience. Many of these acts later take their talents to the festival’s bigger stages, while some have even returned as the opening act on the festival’s biggest stage, Orange Stage. 

The world renowned Danish star Mø, whose collaborations include the likes of Justin Bieber, Major Lazer and Iggy Azalea, is a shining example of a Danish name catapulted to global success. In 2013, she appeared on the festival’s smallest stage, Pavilion Junior, during the run-up to the four-day main event; the following year, she took to the festival’s second largest stage, Arena, and in 2016 she topped it all off with a riveting show on the Orange Stage. Mø herself has pointed to the concert on Orange Stage as a milestone in her illustrious career.

"I’m moved to tears by all the love and support I received yesterday on the Orange Stage at Roskilde Festival. My deepest affection, respect and appreciation to all who were there to make those 90 minutes an absolutely unforgettable experience."

MØ, Instagram

The orange feeling

But Roskilde Festival is much more than merely a musical celebration. For participants, the festival is a nearly mythical site of unforgettable experiences; meanwhile, the event’s organisers strive diligently to bring festival-goers closer together.

As a longstanding main sponsor, Tuborg plays an active role in creating this unique atmosphere, also known as “the orange feeling”. Anders Cold, age 34, made his debut as a guest in 1999. Every year since, he has faithfully made the trek to Roskilde and set up camp.

Thinking back on his first year at the festival, he remembers how the multitude of stages, the sprawling festival grounds, the thousands of people and the raucous camp atmosphere added up to something of a culture shock: “It was like somebody threw a cultural colour TV in 3D in your face, after spending your entire childhood and adolescence accustomed to flat black and white.”

Back then, festival-goers were more grouped according to genres (grunge rockers, metal fans, ravers, hip-hoppers, skaters), but the spirit was still open and welcoming, with everyone sharing a common love of music. He remembers it as “a kind of Petri dish of subcultures, where you could feel out where you belonged – or cross over if you were curious about something else”.

Roskilde was completely insane and totally unexpected. It was the highlight of my time as The Streets and it was definitely my best concert.

Mike Skinner aka. The Streets, 2011, Ritzau.

Mind-opening experiences

A less experienced, but no less enthusiastic festival-goer is 21-year-old Jeppe Bang Østergaard, who has attended Roskilde Festival every year since 2013. To Jeppe, the festival is an oasis in contrast to everyday routines and, just as importantly, a community that helps to break down prejudices about other people.

“You enter into a bubble that is completely different from what you’re used to in everyday life. Everybody is so down-to-earth and you talk to people that you normally wouldn’t at home. If you were sitting on the bus, you probably wouldn’t sit down next to somebody you didn’t know – but you do here. That’s what really grabbed me and that’s why I keep coming back,” he says.

This openness is also reflected in the music line-up, which actually isn’t Jeppe’s main reason for attending the festival; but with the help of friends, it often leads him to mind-opening experiences: “I might have been planning on seeing a show, but seven times out of ten I end up somewhere else. A lot of times it’s something that I wouldn’t have in my headphones on a bike ride home, but when you’re standing there with a bunch of people, you just get swept up by the energy."

Roskilde was the first festival I attended, and nothing can beat it. I have to have my Roskilde fix.

Jeppe Bang Østergaard, new Roskilde Festival-goer.

Part of something bigger

At Roskilde Festival, everyone is part of something bigger. One of the core elements of the festival community is volunteerism. Every year, 32,000 volunteers do everything from building stages, serving a million beers and staffing food stands, to collecting waste, producing the festival’s very own newspaper and helping guests find their way around the festival grounds. Roskilde Festival Spokesperson Christina Bilde takes great pride in this spirit of volunteerism.

“Volunteerism is everything. Roskilde Festival couldn’t exist without our volunteers,” she says. “It’s not only a matter of establishing the framework for the festival, but it’s also about the community, the special dedication and desire to make a difference that drives so many volunteers – also in relation to the fact that we’re a non-profit venture. We usually say that the volunteers are the heart of Roskilde Festival.”

Tuborg Foundation has helped the festival focus on this spirit of volunteerism through a research project that collected the experiences and views of selected volunteers, while also examining how to foster motivation and engagement among volunteers. Tuborg is also present at the event every year with projects that add additional colour to the Roskilde Festival experience. Tuborg’s contributions through the years have included a 50-metre-long swimming pool in the middle of the festival grounds, a Ferris wheel, a rolling pub, a mobile DJ stage in the shape of a boom box, pop-up concerts in the camping area and a beer brewed especially for Roskilde Festival with the help of festival-goers.

  • Author: Rasmus Junge